With a shortage of young workers willing and able to do today’s factory jobs, manufacturers are taking steps to retain the older workforce already punching in.
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These days mirror the late 1990s, when the Internet evolved to widespread use—and the topic bedeviled many. But others—in banking and entertainment, for example—who quickly learned the new lingo and jumped at the chance to explore the Web’s potential benefited greatly. Today’s tantalizing topic: blockchain.
Smarter, faster nesting software programs with better automation and other major improvements are helping fabricators and metalcutters at job shops and other builders inject a jolt of productivity into their factory operations.
The next “dynamic duo” may not involve humans at all. “Machine vision and robots make for a perfect marriage,” stated Klas Bengtsson, global product manager, vision systems for ABB Robotics (Auburn Hills, MI). This is not new. Vision and robotics have gone hand in hand for years.
Traditionally, industrial robots have been deployed for manufacturing tasks that required brute strength, such as the heavy-payload robots used in the automotive industry, or they were of the speedy pick-and-place variety, the type of robots often deployed in medical or semiconductor applications. In most instances, safety requirements mandated that robots be entirely sealed off in fence-guarded cells to protect human workers from injury.
What are companies looking for in manufacturing execution systems [MES] software?
Will automation and robotics create jobs or only cut them? Less than a week after the Advanced Robotics Manufacturing (ARM) institute was announced as the fourteenth hub in the network of Manufacturing USA institutes, Reuters News Agency published an article headlined “U.S. investors see more automation, not jobs, under Trump administration.”
(Roxbury Twp., NJ) Legionella, the bacteria that causes potentially fatal Legionnaire’s Disease, and other strains of deadly pathogens that are hosted by some cooling towers, have been substantially reduced by the development of a unique anti-microbial HDPE material introduced by Delta Cooling Towers (deltacooling.com) on September 1, 2016.
The carbon nanotube sheet shows tantalizing properties for the aerospace industry. Research at HTMI aims to hold it to its promise
Taking stock of a surprising and challenging 2016, a number of trends may point to a future where manufacturing output increases while continuing to decentralize.